Saturday, October 11, 2008

Simple Tactical Puzzle

I recently had a very wild game in the French Winawer (I was White).

I reached this position as shown (see picture on left).

White is clearly winning.

Black's Rook is there for the taking and taking the Rook with check is always a plus.

The idea behind this small exercise is to be able to see moves whilst moving the pieces in your head.

Now calculate the lines after 1. Bxf8+

Question 1: Can you see the mating position after 1.... Kxf8?

Answer can be found by highlighting between the brackets.

[ 1.... Kxf8 2. Qe7+ Kg8 3. Rd8 and mate follows]

We now know that Black should take back with the Queen.

So 1. Bxf8+ Qxf8 is pretty much forced.

For your convenience, I've attached the 2nd picture for this line. But you can still work it out in your head should you choose not to use the 2nd picture.

Question 2: Find a way to win/finish off Black.

Answer :
[2. Rxc6!

If 2... bxc6 3. Rd7+ Kg8 4. Rd8 wins the Black Queen. Note that 3... Kh6 is not possible because of Qg5#

If 2....Nf6
3. Rxf6! Qxf6
4. Rd7+ nabs the Black Queen

If Black makes any other move,
3. Rcd6 and Black is still going to lose the Black Queen because Rd7+ is coming


  1. I thought for a moment that Rd8 was the quickest way to win until i saw that black then takes the f-pawn with his queen, attacking whites queen and giving check. So i had to start all over again.

    Then i was thinking in the direction of the tactical shot of removing the defender and saw Rxc6 and came to the same conclusion as you.

    If black doesn't recapture and play something like Qf5 you atleast won a piece which allows you to swap queens after 1. ... Rc7+ 2. Kh6 Qg5+ .

  2. chesstiger: yes, there was a slight trick in this one in that one has to see to the removal of the guard and take care of the Q takes pawn with check. Taking on the Bishop on c6 is necessary because it covers the all important e8 square. Once it's gone, Black cannot cover both Rd8 or Rd7 at the same time and the Queen is lost.